Father-in-law considered a 'person of interest' in Susan Powell disappearance

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GRAHAM, Wash. — West Valley Police have confirmed that Steven Powell is a person of interest in the disappearance of Susan Powell.

According to West Valley Police Chief Buzz Nielsen, Powell is considered a person of interest because of the information he may know, but they are not calling him a suspect at this time. Nielsen said he does not know if Powell had a role in Susan's disappearance, but may know something about what happened to her.

"They lived together in the house," Nielsen said. "There are things he should want to talk to us (about), we hope." Nielsen said the police department's interest level with Powell has grown since a case began building against him in Washington. However, he also said several other people have piqued their interest about Susan's disappearance.

"There'll be some friends, family friends, family members," he said. "We'll go back and talk to some of the family members that would be related."

After Sunday's double murder-suicide involving Josh Powell and his two sons Charlie and Braden, Nielsen said their department has been flooded with new leads related to Susan's disappearance. He said they're also getting threats.

We sure can't prosecute Josh, but did somebody know something? Did somebody help him? Those are the questions we need to resolve.

–Chief Buzz Nielsen

And although Josh Powell is now dead, Nielsen said the case is not dead; it will still move forward.

"We sure can't prosecute Josh," Nielsen said, "but did somebody know something? Did somebody help him? Those are the questions we need to resolve."

In the end, if all the evidence points to Josh Powell, Nielsen said so be it. He said the main focus right now is finding Susan's body and bringing closure to her family.

"If there is still an opportunity to find a body or whatever might have happened to her, then we'll do that," he said.

Investigators will soon speak to Steven Powell, who is being held in a jail in Pierce County. In the meantime, officers will continue with authorities processing evidence found in the burned debris.


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